Your Reticular Activator

The Reticular Activator System (RAS) became known to me a couple of years ago when I was studying-up on remembering information from a meeting.  (Yes, I used to have enough free time to study things like that…)  Anyway, it was put in each of our brains by God to help us sort the plethora of information coming at us daily and nightly.  It is a non-conscious process that takes place continually as it sorts data into “not important” and “important.” 

My first real-life lesson of using the RAS was my initial night in dorms at Trinity Western University, Langley, B.C.  That memorable evening I was shaken awake multiple times as the train rumbled by on the tracks that were entirely TOO CLOSE to the dorm for non-coma-sleepers to get any sleep.  After the fourth or fifth pass, I went and woke up a second year student so as to complain to someone.  I remember her slurred words clearly, “Give it a few days.”  What she was really saying was, “Your RAS will eventually figure out that you need sleep more than you need to be awaken to identify the train noise and you will sleep through it in a few days.”  I didn’t believe her, but she was right.  Two years later we moved to Fort Langley and a different train track… and my RAS once again took a few days to process train noise as unimportant.

Another time my RAS was highly active was each time I became pregnant.  All of a sudden there were pregnant women coming out of the woodwork.  They were everywhere…. and the world was not pregnant before I discovered I was pregnant.  Interesting.

Rick affirmed that men also have an active RAS after they buy a new car.  No one has the car of choice until you pull out of the lot with your unique purchase.  All of a sudden every second car is your car.


O.K. that little psych lesson on the RAS was given in defence of my current subconscious attractedness to all things adoption.  Yes, it’s because we are in month 11 of waiting for our name to be called so we can bring home Zaza from Colombia.  Adoption is everywhere… seems like in most families somewhere… and even in stories.  Not knowing the storyline, I chose the book-on-cd of Silas Marner for our trip to the sunshine state.  I actually drove long enough to make it through the seven hours of Silas and Eppy, Godfrey and Nancy.  Yes, it has the adoption theme woven through it, but what stuck with me was a few choice lines from the “book.”  Silas told Godfrey, “When you have turned a blessing from your door, it then belongs to someone else.”  Isn’t that the truth?  No matter the cause for the turning away. 

The other truth of adoption that I loved in the story was Eppy’s attachment to Silas almost instantly, even though the rest of the characters do not have a fondness for him.  I’m not sure if it’s so much an adoption issue as a child issue.  Children are so accepting and forgiving of our shortcomings and failures.  It’s love, that’s it.

Side Note:  For those who know that details are highly important to me… YES, it bugs me that Eppy’s locks are not the color of gold on the book cover.  Sheesh.

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One Response to “Your Reticular Activator”

  1. Jennie C. Says:

    It’s been a long time since I read that story. I liked it.

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